“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
– William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well
I had the great pleasure of spending Tuesday afternoon with Richard Branson (Virgin Group) and Kevin Plank (UnderArmor) at a symposium for entrepreneurs in Washington, DC. They spoke at length regarding their strategies, their successes, and, yes, their failures. I had a couple of big takeaways that I wanted to share with you.
Both men have a passion for their customers and products that was infectious and unyielding. They were so clear about what the experience should be … that it drove their companies forward. I often write about the state of the market or customer experience, but I don’t spend nearly enough time talking about the experience I’d like our customers to have. People hire us because they believe in us because we can help them do things they can’t do for themselves.
So, what’s the experience that I want for our customers? I want them to enjoy a great relationship with us, one in which we are trusted advisors and agents of change.
The second takeaway was about disrupting markets. In both cases, Kevin and Richard identified a market where a superior service and product would be disruptive. For Branson, he had a simple goal: to make flying fun. He talked about being the first to put a bar in a plane and the importance of great entertainment. UnderArmor was focused on making a better shirt than its competitors, not just another shirt, but one that was designed for athletes. In both cases, I was taken by the relative simplicity of their goals. They were not elaborate or high-minded. They were focused. Most of all, they were achievable.
In some ways, you can say that Tahzoo needs to do both things well we need to have provided a great experience and seek ways to wow our clients. Because we do digital transformation, our product is not really a product at all, but the outcomes we deliver for our clients.
The measure of our success with our clients’ needs to go beyond just the quality of our builds, documentation, or code, but to the central result we produce did our work improve the customer experience? Did it achieve the business result for our client? I have been pushing the business development side to do a better job of articulating the Tahzoo value proposition, well beyond the breadth of our capabilities, but what makes us unique. In my mind, we should be able to sell Tahzoo with a single slide with a summary of the results we’ve achieved for our clients.
If you’re working on a project and you don’t know what the expected business result for the client is then start asking questions until you know. By the way, if the answer you hear is that we finish on time, on budget with good quality, then you got the wrong answer. We get hired to achieve results. Ask questions. Get engaged. Get to the heart of the matter what is the business result your client is trying to achieve? Then go out and help them do it.
Let’s go be great!